KFC uses cheeky print advert to apologise for chicken shortage

The fast-food chain is hoping it can avoid long-term damage to its brand with a humorous apology after it was forced to shut hundreds of restaurants.


KFC has taken out a full-page ad in a number of newspapers to apologise for its recent chicken shortage.

The ad, which appears in the Metro and Sun newspapers, shows an empty KFC bucket with the letters switched round to spell “FCK”. Created by its agency Mother, it also includes an apology for the fact it had to shut a number of its UK stores following problems at its new chicken supplier DHL.

While 700 of its 900 UK stores are now back open, the crisis has damaged consumer perceptions of the brand. YouGov BrandIndex shows that its buzz ranking, which measure ths positive and negative things said about a brand, has dropped from -0.9 on 19 February to -20.1 on 20 February.

However, KFC has so far managed to avoid any more long-term impacts to the brand, with metrics such as consideration and purchase intent unaffected. And KFC, by adopting humour, is widely seen to have responded well to the debacle.

In the ad, KFC says: “A chicken restaurant without any chicken. It’s not ideal. Huge apologies to our customers, especially those who travelled out their way to find we were closed.” It also thanked its staff for “working tirelessly to improve the situation”.

It finishes with: “It’s been a hell of a week but we’re making progress, and every day more and more fresh chicken is being delivered to our restaurants.

“Thank you for bearing with us”.

Oxfam also used print media in a reactive marketing move to apologise to consumers last weekend. It addressed concerns over allegations of sexual misconduct by the charity by taking out full-page adverts in the Times and Guardian.

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  • Chris Arnold 23 Feb 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Nice ad! Always good to see something so simple. Surprised the powers that be allowed it, so maybe there is hope for KFC to do some great work. Didn’t shine at BBH and not so far at Mother. But if anyone can do good ads on KFC, Mother can. If not, FCK them.

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